Event celebrates 150 years of Darwin’s most epic work

150 years ago Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection was published and shaped understanding of how life evolved.

A free event hosted by the University of Aberdeen next week (Tuesday November 24) will celebrate the anniversary of the publication of this landmark work.

Organised by the University’s Natural History Centre and School of Biological Sciences, Evening of Evolution will examine the life and work of the man acknowledged as one of science’s greatest figures.

The chance to see a first edition copy of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection will be one of the highlights of the event which will take place in the University’s Zoology Building from 6 –9pm.

The book – which is typically held in the University’s Special Collections – will be on display throughout the evening’s activities, which include talks, tours and workshops.

Academics from the University of Aberdeen – Dr Stuart Piertney and Dr Duncan Heddle from the School of Biological Sciences, Professor Gordon Walkden from the School of Geosciences – and Dr Neil Paterson from the University of Dundee, will present on various aspects of Darwin’s life and work.

Dr John Baird, also from the University’s School of Biological Sciences, will host an interactive quiz – Who wants to be a Darwinaire?

Visitors will have the chance to enjoy displays on Darwin’s interests, and learn more about the story of evolution in the University’s Natural History Centre, and take part in a human evolution workshop with Dr Kirsty Millican.from the University’s Archaeology department.

There will also be the opportunity to see live pigeons – animals which were key to Darwin’s works – under the watchful eye of Ian McKay, President of the Aberdeen Federation of Racing Pigeon Societies, whilst local taxidermist Stephen Caine will showcase a range of animals and discuss his work.

The event is the last in a series hosted by the University to commemorate Darwin’s 200th birthday year.

Event organiser Marie Fish from the University’s Natural History Centre said: “Evening of Evolution is set to be a fitting close to our series of events celebrating Charles Darwin, in this his 200th birthday year.

“Held on the day which marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, the event aims to provide an insight into the various aspects of Darwin’s life and work.

“The event is open to all, but adults and older children in particular will enjoy the range of activities, talks and interactive events which will take place throughout the evening.”

Refreshments and cake will be served at the event.

Evening of Evolution is free to attend and booking is not required.  For more information contact the Natural History Centre on 01224 274545 or email nat.hist@abdn.ac.uk.